Cycling: Qualification shake-up puts spoke in Britain's wheels for 2012 Games

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The Independent Online

Great Britain's hopes of a dominant track cycling display on home soil have been hit after the world governing body announced a radical overhaul of the qualification system for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Britain won seven out of 10 events at the Beijing Games in 2008, with Mark Cavendish the only member of the team to return from the Laoshan Velodrome without a medal. But the UCI has announced there will be a maximum of one athlete per nation per event in London and the qualification programme will include the European Championships, which have previously been only an Under-23 event.

Britain were the dominant force in China and had already seen their medal hopes diminished by a radical overhaul of the track programme to create gender parity. The move for gender parity was welcomed by many but came at a price, as the UCI opted to remove traditional endurance events, the individual pursuits, points races and Madison from the programme. In Beijing, Sir Chris Hoy won three titles, Bradley Wiggins two and Victoria Pendleton and Rebecca Romero also claimed gold.